a stepping-stone to adoption for abandoned furballs





about 50K

Stepping Up
to the Plate


Over the weekend Miles seems to have gotten over whatever bug was causing his reduced appetite and weight loss. He’s not back to his high-water mark yet, but he should get there within the next day or two. So Dizzy and Maynard are setting the pace for the Hepcat siblings now, while Orion and TT may be stalling out a bit. On a worry scale of 1 to 10, we’d rate this villa virus about a 1.5, and it shouldn’t stop any of the Hepcats from busting out of 50K later this week.

That’s right, we’re already in countdown mode with this crew. Maynard and Yoko will be going home together on Saturday, to live with a couple which recently lost the last and oldest (almost 20 years!) of their four long-lived cats. TT and Orion are going to a quiet foster home where they’ll have the run of the apartment; TT can keep gaining weight, and Orion will receive more peep-socialization time than he gets with us. And Miles and Dizzy will go on-view at PetMAC DC this Friday, where they’ll have a spacious enclosure with more to see and do than they have here. With their outgoing personalities, they might score a forever home quickly.

OK, on to the real action of this past weekend! On Friday, an Arlington family found six tiny kittens in their backyard. The family knew the kittens were mothered by a neighborhood stray, but their excited dog was keeping the mom-cat away from her kittens. Concerned about the cold weather, the family brought the kittens inside Friday evening, which made the mom-cat even more scarce. The family fed the kittens milk-replacement formula, but one of the parents was out of town and the other was allergic to cats, so they needed help. At 4pm on Saturday they e-mailed a local feline rescue group to ask whether it could help them find a foster home.

The recipient forwarded the e-mail to several other DC-area rescues, and by 6pm Saturday we’d contacted the family and agreed to take three of the kittens. We drove to their house and Martha picked three at random out of the family’s carrier. As soon as we got them home, we fed and weighed them. A 4.9-oz tortie girl, a 4.6-oz orange guy, and a 4.2-oz dilute tortie girl. They all looked healthy and ate well.

I called the family early the next morning to ask whether any other rescue groups had offered to take the other three kittens. None had, so the family was still planning to take them to the Arlington shelter after church on Sunday. Under new leadership since last year, the shelter’s animal care has improved dramatically, but we weren’t sure they had foster homes who could take bottle babies, so we told the family we could come by at 11am on Sunday and pick up the other three kittens.

By the time we did that, another Homeward Trails fosterer who has experience with bottle babies volunteered to split the litter with us. So we brought the second trio back to 50K and tried to decide how to divide the pack.

It wasn’t hard. We put one tabby and one dilute tortie in each group, pairing the big tabby with the little dilute tortie, and the little tabby with the bigger dilute tortie. Then we put the biggest kitten (the tortie) on the traveling squad and kept the third-biggest (the orange tabby). We drove 20 miles to a halfway point and handed off the away team to our HT colleague.

In keeping with our habit of naming litters after current events, we’re calling our gang of three “the Sluggers”, since we got them on the evening the World Series turned (for at least one night) into a slugfest. Cardinals superstar Albert Pujols led the charge, so we named the male orange kitten after him. We’re calling the tiny tabby girl Cruz, after the Rangers’ red-hot Nelson Cruz. And we named the dilute tortie Molina, after Cards catcher Yadier Molina, who had a big night on Saturday. Martha pointed out that Molina also has tattoos, and his feline counterpart has interesting markings herself.

It’s hard to tell from the pix, but these guys are tiny… the smallest bottle-babies we’ve seen since the Nanos. With the memory of the Bottle Caps still relatively fresh, we’re hoping the Sluggers follow in the footsteps of Nickel and Whitey instead.

filed by: TS



entry 502 of 870


go to entry:


50K – the year in furballs: